The Presidential Curse
In 1811, William Henry Harrison led his troops to victory over Indian chief Tecumseh in the Battle of Tippecanoe and Tyler II. In 1813, Harrison's troops again defeated Tecumseh's, and this time the Indian chief was slain.
As he lay dying, Tecumseh cursed the man who would be president. "I curse you, Great White Fathers, and bring you death by the five great gods." He then held a trembling fist in defiance to the sky to begin naming the gods and bringing down their curses. "One," he said, raising a single finger. And then, before he could call the second of five curses, Tecumseh died. This is why, to this day, the U.S. President who comes to term after each fifth election is doomed to die in office.
Behind the Legend
The curse of Tecumseh was a strong one, but it has weakened in recent years. Let's examine its history.
The pattern is pretty indicative of a curse, although the two most recent entries did not end in what would be traditionally called fatalities. But is it enough evidence that we can conclude that something supernatural is going on?
To answer this question, we contacted James Randi, head of the coincidentally named James Randi Educational Foundation (JREF). JREF has a standing offer to give $1 million to anyone who can present conclusive proof of a supernatural occurrence. We presented our evidence for the curse to Mr. Randi, and he immediately awarded us the $1 million, which, in our opinion, pretty much answers the question.